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Surviving Your Hike In The Woods

04 Sep 2015

Taking a hike in the woods can be a relaxing way to refresh your mind. Stepping away from society can be someones best means of having a clearer mind. You shouldn't take hikes lightly though, as one can easily get themselves lost in an environment that looks similar in every direction. It's important to eat plenty of food and water the day before and day of your hike. Make sure you bring a map and a compass with you on your journey, and ALWAYS bring spare food and water in case your out longer than you anticipated.

Always notify a friend or family member exactly where you plan on hiking, how long you plan on being out and to notify the police department if you don't come back after a certain period of time. If you happen to find yourself lost in the woods, and you were only suppose to be out for a day, your friend can contact an emergency rescue team to look for you. Don't let your ego get the best of you, even if you think you know the forest well, always stay prepared and let everyone know exactly what your doing. It's especially important to bring a compass, map, survival gear, first aid kit, cellphone and even possibly a SPOT messenger. A SPOT messenger is especially useful because it works by using satellite communication to contact emergency agencies, such as the police department in the event you find yourself lost. It can also double as a means of communication between you and your family, so you can let them know that you are still okay.

If you find yourself lost in the woods:

The first and most important thing to remember, is not to panic. By remaining calm, you'll have a clear mind and be able to think more freely about the problems you are facing. If you start to panic, you'll start thinking irrationally and begin making poor choices that will make your rescue more difficult, if not impossible.

Once you've gathered yourself, you need to sit down and think about what your going to do if rescue workers don't find you for the next couple of days. The best starting point is to mark some tree or rock with an indicator wherever you are, as ground zero; it's where you realized you are lost.

Next, you'll need to start going through your survival gear and begin setting up camp. STAY within 15 feet of your location to gather wood so you can build a campfire. Straying too far away from ground zero could further result in confusion and panic if you can't find your marker.

Once you've gathered your firewood, you can either start the fire right away or take cover underneath shade if it's still sunny out. Preserving your energy will be your number one priority, as you'll have no idea when rescue workers will be able to find you. Keeping yourself cool will reduce the amount of water you need to consume to stay hydrated, and minimizing your movements will minimize the amount of food you need to consume. Remember, you are now in survival mode, now is NOT the time to go out and explore your surroundings.

Always make sure you have more than enough firewood, even if you think you have enough to last the night; always gather more then excess. Never start your fire when it starts to get dark, because it may take you some time to get your fire started, and once it gets dark, you'll likely start to panic more because you don't have a light source or an area of warmth.

Once you have your fire started and you feel rested, you can once again begin searching your NEARBY surroundings. Remember not to stray too far away from ground zero, but scavenging your nearby area may find useful tools from previous hikers who may have items behind. Don't get carried away with this though, as it's far more important to stay close to your campfire and to preserve your energy. If you find a nearby stream, use it to fill up water bottles you may have, and begin purifying the water; this is where your survival gear comes into play. You'll need to pour the water into a pot and start to boil it to kill off any bacteria that may have been living in the stream. Avoiding this step could cause serious illness and greatly reduce your chances of survival.

Start building shelter, as you never know when rescue workers will come or when a storm will be approaching. The worst thing that could happen to you, is to be caught dead in the rain with soaking wet clothes; resulting in hypothermia or death.

Never be afraid to start eating bugs if your food supply starts to get low. Your trying to conserve your food, so consuming bugs could be a great alternative to diminishing your supplies too quickly. Grasshoppers are your best choice as they provide a great source of protein, but make sure you always cook them before consuming. Insects can harbor parasites that are potentially lethal to humans or can cause seriously illness.

Last Modified: September 04, 2015 06:02 PM
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hike in the woods Stepping away from society

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